My recent work responds to ideas of ecological citizenship in the public imaginary, with a focus on relationships between humans and non-humans and occidental constructions of nature and culture.
About the Works
This series uses manipulated images of billboards in North-Central Ontario to reconsider highway infrastructure as something both public and private--something that crosses through ecosystems and bypasses animal habitat. The focus on the object of the advertisement is replaced with a hypothetical reflection that mimics the experience of driving a vehicle and the limitations of human vision, as well as the metaphor of "hindsight." Every advertisement on the side of the road, which is itself a cultural construction, disrupts the view of the landscape, a second cultural construction; and the transposed reflection fulfills the impossible yearning to concurrently see what's ahead and what's behind. I believe this visual trope complicates the pervading understanding of highways as simply the most efficient on-land route from point A to point B. It suggests that the highway itself is a complex socio-political and biologically-significant environment, not just a network of surface architecture in the peripheries of cities.
As structures, these signs recall abandoned battlements and fortifications that may have been constructed with a sense of urgency. Over time, many of the signs have fallen into disrepair. The space they occupy along the highway is contentious--municipally-maintained, publicly-travelled, privately-advertised, colonially-acquired land. As advertisements, the signs suggest an embedding of commerce and consumerism into the land itself. The entire series contains 24 images.